Despite the growing number of people using cloud services such as hosted e-mail and online photo storage, many consumers don't understand the privacy and security implications, said Ari Schwartz, vice president and chief operating officer of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an advocacy group focused on online privacy and civil rights. So far, U.S. courts have generally ruled that private data stored in the cloud doesn't enjoy the same level of protection from law enforcement searches that data stored on a personal computer does, he said.
"Consumers expect their information will be treated the same on the cloud as it is if it were stored at home on their own computers," Schwartz said.
Forty-nine percent of U.S. residents who use cloud computing services would be very concerned if the cloud vendors shared their files with law enforcement agencies, according to a survey released Friday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Another 15 percent of respondents said they'd be somewhat concerned, according to the survey, released in conjunction with the Google policy event.
I am pleased that all these issues are being addressed right from the start. Finally we'll have discussions that will lead to a well regulated adoption that will be secure and compliant while still being open and free.